Voice Of The Faithful Visits State Legislators
Members of the Rockaway Voice of the Faithful recently visited state legislators in Albany to continue their campaign aimed at amending New York State’s statute of limitations law regarding child sexual abuse. As the law now stands, victims of sexual abuse are prevented from seeking justice if they report the crimes more than five years past their 18th birthday. Many victims of sexual crimes repress memories of the crimes for years past this date, some unable to face the horrors until they are into their thirties or forties. The Voice of the Faithful in Rockaway met with several members of the State Assembly and Senate in order to gain their support in passing bills now held in committee. One bill, sponsored by State Senator Skelos of Nassau County would extend the statute of limitations to 15 years beyond the victim’s 18th birthday. Voice of the Faithful throughout New York State also supports bills pending in relation to the reporting of child sexual abuse.
While in Albany, the Voice of the Faithful group met with Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer and Senator Malcolm Smith, both of whom expressed their continuing support for the proposed legislation. Both legislators encouraged Voice of the Faithful to continue to write to the Office of the State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Silver has the power to see that bills are sent to the floor of the Assembly for a vote – the next step before sending the bills to Governor Pataki for his signature. While press coverage has centered on pedophiles who are Catholic priests, Mary Kiernan, Chairperson of Rockaway Voice of the Faithful, observed “it’s not just a Catholic problem – children of all faiths have been harmed.”